HOUSTON (Sept. 4)—Shell Oil Products U.S. will halt production of naphthenic base oils at its Martinez, Calif., lubricants plant by mid-September, marking the end of its supply of process oils to the rubber industry. The cessation at Martinez will complete Shell's phase out of its Shellflex oils and Shellmax waxes for rubber processors. The company announced in December 2002 the ending of production of Group I paraffinic and naphthenic base oils and waxes at its Deer Park, Texas, lubricants plant. Shell blamed poor profit margins and flat to declining sales of these products for its decision. The company didn't disclose sales or earnings data or employment for the business. Naphthenic and paraffinic oils are used in rubber compounding as carrier oils, plasticizers, dust control agents and processing aids, Shell Oil said.
Shell to end naphthenic base oil production at Calif. plant
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